Orthodoxy VIII: The Romance of Orthodoxy

There are certainly plenty of keen insights as to how an otherwise stultifying, byzantine term like “Orthodoxy” can have Romantic (at lest in the classical sense) overtures and undertones and at the same time, but I have not dug up any such as of yet.

Until we get to Chapter VIII, I leave a few random thoughts and images


 Hallmark captures the earthy Venusian essence of Romance


Andrei Rublev’s Trinity (1411 – OR – 1425-1427)

Currently resides in Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

C.S. Lewis captured the dual nature of God, dare we say masculine (father-sky) and feminine (mother-earth) in this poem he composed two years before his conversion.  The feminine nature of reality, as it were (Reality?) Lewis also portrays in his Space Trilogy, with the second book, Perelandra, being set on Venus (Out of the Silent Planet is set on the very male Mars, the finale That Hideous Strength is on earth, with a significant matrimonial theme, being as it opens with “Matrimony was ordained …” ). The feminine, life-nourishing imagery also finds its way into the fiction work that Lewis considered his most important, the retelling of the Psyche myth in Til We Have Faces [TWHF] where he states

“Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.” (Ch. 5, p.50 in my version)

He is said to follow Rudolf Otto’s Idea of the Holy (1917) in TWHF, who described the experience of  God as  numinous, being a “non-rational, non-sensory experience or feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self.”



Set on the soul’s acropolis the reason stands
A virgin, arm’d, commercing with celestial light,
And he who sins against her has defiled his own
Virginity: no cleansing makes his garment white;
So clear is reason. But how dark, imagining,
Warm, dark, obscure and infinite, daughter of Night:
Dark is her brow, the beauty of her eyes with sleep
Is loaded and her pains are long, and her delight.
Tempt not Athene. Wound not in her fertile pains
Demeter, nor rebel against her mother-right.
Oh who will reconcile in me both maid and mother,
Who make in me a concord of the depth and height?
Who make imagination’s dim exploring touch
Ever report the same as intellectual sight?
Then could I truly say, and not deceive,
Then wholly say, that I B E L I E V E.



Another classic on Romance, “Beauty is truth, and truth beauty” …

Markos eye


Next: Orthodoxy IX: Authority and the Adventurer

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